Utah biologists discover mysterious metal monolith in middle of desert

Utah Department of Public Safety

Utah officials discovered a mysterious metal monolith in southeastern Utah last week during a mission to count sheep.

The Utah Department of Public Safety confirmed in a Monday statement that crew members with the department’s Aero Bureau were working with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to conduct a count of big horn sheep in a southeastern portion of the state on Nov. 18.

Workers spotted an “unusual object” and landed to investigate in a remote area of red rock. They found a metal monolith that was installed into the ground.

The crew said there was no immediate explanation for who installed the monolith.

Officials said in the Monday statement that they are not disclosing its exact location because “it is in a very remote area and if individuals were to attempt to visit the area, there is a significant possibility they may become stranded and require rescue.” 

Officials also joked that it is illegal in Utah to install structures or art “without authorization on federally managed public lands, no matter what planet you’re from.” 

The Bureau of Land Management is set to determine if an additional investigation into the object will be required.

State officials also shared videos of workers discovering the monolith in the Monday statement.

Pilot Bret Hutchings told CNN affiliate KSL that a biologist initially spotted the bizarre object, which is estimated to be between 10 and 12 feet high. 

“We were kind of joking around that if one of us suddenly disappears, then the rest of us make a run for it,” Hutchings told the outlet. 

“I’m assuming it’s some new wave artist or something or, you know, somebody that was a big (“2001: A Space Odyssey”) fan,” he continued, referencing a scene in the 1968 film that features a large black monolith.

The Bureau of Land Management in a statement to The Hill declined to comment on active investigations.

Updated Nov. 25, 11:26 a.m. 

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